b. Alphonso Thompson, 22 August 1916, Centreville, Mississippi, USA, d. 11 August 1989. This long-time Chicago-based R&B bandleader and pianist first recorded boogie woogies in 1946 for the Detroit-based Sultan label. After signing for the Miracle label in Chicago, he scored with Long Gone, which went to number 1 on the R&B chart in 1948. The gently rolling instrumental set the tone for his later hits, Late Freight (R&B number 1, 1948), Blue Dreams (R&B number 10, 1949) and Mellow Blues (R&B number 8, 1952). His later chart records featured the vocals of his wife, Lulu Reed, notably I'll Drown In My Tears and Let's Call It A Day, both from 1952. Thompson worked largely as a session musician during the '50s, and in 1959 succeeded Ralph Bass as an A&R director for King Recordsí Chicago office. After the closure of the King office in 1964, Thompson continued session work and made occasional tours of Europe.
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